Hobie Porter 'Burnshine' - Artist Talk
"There are some places in the world that one feels called to. I believe they hold within them a quiet language. With time, that language becomes audible- you can feel the country. It holds lessons too, both about itself & for the listener. Bald Rock National Park has that kind of pull for me. This collection of paintings seeks to transcribe my understanding of this special place.
Situated on the Great Dividing Range, right on the border of Queensland & NSW, Bald Rock is augmented by huge granitic boulders, exposed from the earth over time by soil erosion. Like so many parts of Australia, bushfire is an old friend to this dry country.
I visited Bald Rock's summit last summer in intense heat after a recent bushfire had recently scoured it. The hard afternoon sunlight backlit the clouds, which in turn cast a deep shadow over country. The feeling of loss was palpable, yet things seemed like they were in balance, as if fire is a necessary ingredient once in a while. In perspective, a ravaged place is far better than total devastation. It reminded me that mortality & letting go are unavoidable, universal conditions of life. I didn't know it then, but this intuition would guide my paintings into being.
The fragility of Bald Rock's environment is something I also wanted to convey. I collected leaves from the site, intensifying their vulnerability by converting them into states of ash before painting them in the manner of trompe l'oeil. This repeated act across the collection reinforces a broader theme of environmental catharsis & transformation which underpins most of my work. Clouds fill the majority of paintings' surface, dwarfing the leaves into insignificance. Clouds are an important recurring motif for me, they imply the intransigent and impalpable.
Perhaps the landscape genre has always reflected just as much about ourselves as it has of the landscape depicted. I think the function of a good landscape painting is to align the inner self with the external environment. In this respect, my new work articulates Bald Rock's fragile and fierce environment, but also serves as an offering, a possible point of reflection towards personal transcendence."
Hobie Porter, 2014
Opening reception & artist talk
Wednesday 26th March, 6-8pm
In this video Hobie Porter talk about his 2012 exhibition, 'Continuum'